Afghan Police Kill At Least Four Student Protestors
A demonstration for better living conditions by University of Kabul students in the capital city of Afghanistan turned violent earlier this week, when police opened fire on the students as they marched toward the city center. The students were protesting the poor living conditions in their residential buildings, demanding basic necessities such as water, food, and electricity, according to Radio Free Europe. Further protests have erupted over the deaths of students by police, who claimed that they did not know who the protestors were and thought they could be the Taliban or al Qaeda. Dozens of students were injured, some badly beaten, according to the Washington Post.
Afghan Minister of the Interior Taj Muhammad Wardak stated that the students were armed and that they shot one of the students who died; however, the New York Times reported that the hundreds of students protesting the killing of their classmates appeared to be unarmed. The students are reported as fighting back with rocks. Both Wardak and Afghan President Hamid Karzai stated that outside instigators had provoked the protest, possibly with ties to terrorists, according to the Times. Karzai ordered an investigation into the protest and emphasized that police who fired at students as well as students who provoked violence should be arrested.
Students charged government officials with corruption and blamed the police for overreacting and not being well-trained, according to IRINNews.org. Security in Afghanistan has been listed as one of the primary concerns for Afghanistan by such officials as Karzai, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and US Army General Tommy Franks. The Feminist Majority has been leading the push for the expansion of international peacekeeping troops and an increase of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan.
Media Resources: New York Times 11/13/02; Washington Post 11/13/02; Radio Free Europe 11/13/02; IRINNews.org 11/13/02
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .